This week I was feeling exceptionally stuck. I was trying to wrap my head around how I was feeling and why I was feeling that way, in hopes that there was SOMETHING that could make things, well, easier.
I’m a very action-oriented person. I like to see:
1. What’s wrong.
2. What I can do to fix it.
But I was too worked up to really see either. My personal stuck-ness usually involves one of the following:
1. Creative stuck-ness: A lack of creative juice, or knowing what to do next or how to find the next wave to ride.
2. Life imbalance: An inability to balance things in a way that helps me accomplish what’s really important to me AND feel like a happy human being AND be a non-martyring and present partner.
So, that. This week’s stuck-ness was related to #2. AND, wouldn’t you know it, but just as I was stomping my feet at my desk, it turned out that my dreaming class (in it’s final week- *sniff*) featured an interview with Michael Stanier on….. (drumroll, please) BEING STUCK!
Well, shit, if that wasn’t convenient.
The guy is really smart. He’s an advocate for asking yourself questions when you feel stuck. And, I thought that his method was worth writing about here. He suggested three approaches, in hopes that at least one works for you:
First of all, list your problem or concern.
Then, ask yourself:
- What do I need to stop doing?
- What do I need to start doing?
- What do I need to continue doing?
Ok. So, maybe that helped you/me/us see more clearly, and maybe not. If not, Michael offers the following: “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, but they are supposed to help you discover who you are” -Bernice Reagon
That said, Michael asks:
- Who else has faced a challenge like yours?
- What did they do?
- What ideas can you borrow?
Again, maybe helpful for you, maybe not. The last thing he offers up is this:
- What are you creating?
- What would make it beautiful?
- If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do?
I like these questions because they take something that is weighted with frustration (feeling overwhelmed by problems/stressors) and encourages a pragmatic lens. Which, is a nice alternative to wallowing. And, seeing things in terms of the bigger picture is helpful.
Also, these questions are relevant and helpful, whether you’re trying to figure out why the play you’re directing isn’t working, or whether you’re trying to figure out what needs to change in your partnership or at your job.
Do you get stuck in stuck-ness? What do you do?